Ian F. Hunt

Cinematographer and Filmmaker

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Film Studies – Alien Movie Film Studies assignment

Alien Movie Film Studies

Film Studies
Access CJC3FH001A: 2009 to 2010 – Group 2
Course Tutor: Brendan Kedie

  • Analysis of the film ALIEN by Ridley Scott
  • All screen shots are from 1979 Theatrical Version DVD
  • Analysis by Ian Hunt
  • Alien Movie Film Studies

Chapter 19 1:08:00 to 1:08:14


Alien Movie Slide 1

Alien Movie Slide 1

  • The opening sequence starts with a brightly lighted scene, showing  an expansive and white modern space. A safe and clean area? but the flashing amber hazard warning light gives clues to a dangerous situation. This is in fact an airlock which in space is not generally known as a safe space.

    Alien Movie Slide 2

    Alien Movie Slide 2

  • The shot then zooms out revealing a much more confined space as the airlock internal hatch is brought down closing the opening scene off. The scene now is much more claustrophobic and considerably more darkly lighted.
  • The background music is even and subdued but with an underlying pulse which simulates a heartbeat as you would hear it from say a Hospital heart monitoring device.

Chapter 19 1:08:47 & 1:09:45


Alien Movie Slide 3

Alien Movie Slide 3

  • Scene becomes much more claustrophobic and even more darkly lighted. There’s just room for Dallas to crawl through the air duct. You can just make out the track for the camera. The opening shot shows Dallas at the bottom of a long crawlspace and then in the next shot the camera is positioned much closer it then tracks back a little. Camera then remains fixed in position as Dallas crawls towards it.

    Alien Movie Slide 4

    Alien Movie Slide 4

  • Most of the light appears to come from the handheld light and the flame.
  • The shot finishes with a close up of Dallas.
  • Sound track still subdued but the handheld motion detector takes up the heartbeat sound adding to the suspense which everyone knows will lead to a climax of some sort. Or another.

Chapter 19 1:09:55 & 1:10:04


Alien Movie Slide 5

Alien Movie Slide 5

  • Close up of Ripley as Dallas requests that the hatches are closed behind him which means his escape will be cut off – no going back which adds to the suspense and that Dallas is heading towards his Doom.

    Alien Movie Slide 6

    Alien Movie Slide 6

  • Hatch closes with a scraping sound effect adding to the sense of danger. Also because of the way the hatch closes that is it irises closed going from a large opening to a rapidly smaller opening this adds to the feeling that the environment is  getting tighter becoming a very enclosed space and therefore an even more claustrophobic space than before.
  • Shot remains darkly lighted mainly from secondary sources or reflections.
  • Sound continues as before with this underlying heartbeat monitor type sound remaining at an even pace

Chapter 19 1:10:52 & 1:12:11


Alien Movie Slide 7

Alien Movie Slide 7

  • Dallas has room to almost stand up but the shot is still lighted very darkly. The only light source seems to be the flame gun and reflections from the walls of the ventilation shaft as the handheld light is placed on the floor, so it still feels very claustrophobic.

    Alien Movie Slide 8

    Alien Movie Slide 8

  • Sound begins to build as the heart beat sound increases in speed. This adds to the suspense and the feeling of imminent danger.
  • The dialogue becomes frantic between the others which adds to the feeling of closing danger and to the suspense as they lose track of the alien. Although Dallas appears fairly calm?
  • Heart rate sound increases again in frequency, the danger must be getting closer building the suspense.

Chapter 19 1:12:27 & 1:12:45


Alien Movie Slide 9

Alien Movie Slide 9

  • As the dialogue becomes even more frantic there is a close up shot of Ash lighted by the light coming from the window in the air lock showing an impassive face. This is in stark contrast to all the others who are hot/sweating and emotional. This reveals that he/it feels no emotion as the danger to Dallas increases.

    Alien Movie Slide 10

    Alien Movie Slide 10

  • Finally as Dallas incorrectly guesses which way the Alien is coming he turns around just as the Alien appears from the darkness as simultaneously the music and the heart beat sound also reach a climax.
  • The final shot of a blank screen and static informs the audience Dallas has met his end by the hands (teeth) of the Alien
  • Game over

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Graphic Design Book Cover Typography

Graphic Design Book Cover Typography

[youtube.com/watch?v=OGLzaVx-hUE]

Book Cover Research – Graphic Design Book Cover Typography

Slide 2 – Harry Potter Children Book Cover Design

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Childrens Book Cover

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Children's Book Cover

A stylised childlike typeface is used for the Harry Potter title, similar to a Times New Roman font.

The title is written in Red a Primary colour, used to help both identify and emphasise that this book is in the Harry Potter series. I’m not sure if Red on Green works visually.

The P in Potter has a representation of the scar on Harry Potter’s forehead a significant feature of the stories, which the reader will identify with.

The actual title of the book ‘And the Goblet of Fire’ uses similar typeface but all caps, which helps it stand out from the series title. The change in background colour assists with this suggesting the designer may have had second thoughts about Red on Green.

The target audience here is primarily children but the typeface is quite sophisticated, suggesting it could also be attractive to an adult reader.

The Authors name is printed in another and this time indented typeface, which suggests carved in stone, stamped in steel, solidity.

 

Slide 3 – Harry Potter Adult Book Cover Design

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Adult Book Cover

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Adult Book Cover

The same book as the previous slide but this time aimed squarely at an adult readership.

The typeface is less stylised more like a broadsheet newspaper e.g. ‘The Times’

A serif font Times New Roman font is used which targets a more sophisticated reader yet this is still a children’s book suggesting that they have identified that a proportion of their readership is Adult and rated C1 to B possible A.

The colours used are Black and White with Gold for the books Title which suggest quality.

Slide 4 – Terry Pratchett, Thud – American

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover American Edition

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover American Edition

This book cover was produced for the non European market (American).

Typeface similar to Arial (Sans Serif) but with some flourishes but overall seems to infer a target readership which is more used to reading comics, tabloid newspapers rather than broadsheets.

This is especially apparent in the typeface used for THUD all caps and large font.

This typeface also suggests the book is for children, which it is not. Teenagers, Young Adults and Adults tend to read this book.

The overall suggestion here is a less sophisticated readership.

Slide 5 – Terry Pratchett, Thud – European

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover UK Edition

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover UK Edition

UK/European version used for the cover of the same book as the previous slide. Although this time with a very obvious bias towards a more sophisticated readership.

The main title is in a stylised form of Times New Roman suggesting a previous era e.g Medieval, oldie worldly

The books title itself ‘THUD’ remains true to a Times New Roman font the choice of the broadsheets which also infers a similar sophisticated audience will read this book.

Slide 6 – Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange Book Cover

A Clockwork Orange Book Cover

The cover of this book sends out completely the wrong message here.

The typeface is a simple form of Arial font (Sans – Serif) combined with the choice of colour leads you to think it’s a children’s book, comic about the circus etc.

Anyone who knows the book or the film directed by Stanley Kubrick, its violent and inappropriate subject matter would exempt a child from reading it.

There is in fact no guide here to who the book is intended for.

Slide 7 – A Journey to Paradise

A Journey Into Paradise Book Cover

A Journey Into Paradise Book Cover

Overall the choice of title typeface seems to be all wrong, it’s understated similar to Arial or Tahoma and the font size is too small.

The chosen font colour also seems to be wrong this cover seems to need a large title in a primary colour e.g Red

Due to what seems to be the wrong message being sent out by the title the publishers have added a lot of small explanation text below the picture to get the message across.

However if we assume instead that this book was targeting a more sophisticated readership then a understated title and typeface would make sense, think reference book.

Slide 8 – School for Husbands

The School for Husbands Book Cover

The School for Husbands Book Cover

The typeface suggests the 1950’s to me and France

It also looks similar to the opening titles of Bewitched

The text says school and that combined with the font choices, the height variations and mismatched characters say primary school to me (St Trinians).

As to target readership I’d say across the board but possibly aimed more at the mid 20’s, mid 30’ age group.

Also aimed at the more sophisticated reader

Slide 9 – Red Comet

Red Comet Comic Cover

Red Comet Comic Cover

This is a typical dramatic typeface for comics of the 1950’, 1960’s eras.

It’s in 3D, Red and Blue primary colours, the arch shape suggesting space flight and a comet’s tail.

Think sensationalism a dramatic headline ‘The World Ends Monday’ etc.

The text boxes at the bottom of the cover uses a typeface typical of comics of 1950’s which are still in use today and are firmly associated with this form of media.

Slide 10 – The Secret Lives of Great Artists

The Secret Lives of Great Artists Magazine Cover

The Secret Lives of Great Artists Magazine Cover

This is all about connotation

The typeface and fonts used here are pure Tabloid, sensationalism, this will be an exposé of the lives of Great Artists.

They were chosen for this purpose to lead the reader into thinking the subject of the title would be covered in this way and to make it seem more current than it is, when in fact this is really a historical look at their lives.

The chosen colours match those of newspapers and magazines of today, think Private Eye, The Mirror.

Slide 11 – Inside Linda Lovelace

Inside Linda Lovelace Book Cover

Inside Linda Lovelace Book Cover

This is not a great book cover.

The typeface would seem to be more appropriate for a book on computers and was probably used because it was in vogue at the time 1970’s.

I seem to remember this typeface, font design used on science fiction Film and TV programme titles of the 1970’s.

The text at the bottom appears to be positioned to provide a form of censorship but as it is curved it appears to have the opposite effect by following the suggestion of the curve of a breast.

This text also provides an Anchorage ‘Deep Throat’ and the image open mouth.


Graphic Design Book Cover Typography

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